An Open Letter to Winter Weather (In Rhyme)

Standard

Dear Frigid Winter Weather,

For weeks you’ve plagued my days
With snow and slush and frozen mush –
I’m in a frosty haze.

Each morning as I step from bed
I’m met with chilly floors;
Fearful to touch the metal knobs
On all my stone-cold doors.

My landlord is an icy bitch
And won’t turn up the heat.
So all I have to keep me warm
Are slippers for my feet.

Image

I walk down Lexington, a scarf
Wound tight around my neck.
Because of you, my four block stroll
Is a long and icy trek.

The subway tracks are packed and wet.
Trains running with delays.
Daily commutes in thick snow boots
Avoiding puddles like a maze.

Image

Pictured: Entrance to the 86th Street Subway Station

Winter storms come days apart,
All with stupid names.
I’m not sure what you’re up to, winter,
But I’m sick of all your games.

There was no time before this year
You flew in with such strength.
I could tolerate your presence here
But never to this length.

Image

Not only I have noticed.
I know many would agree.
Cause every fucking Instagram
Is of a snowy tree.

And every Facebook status shouts,
“Guys! OMG! It’s cold!!!”
All the updates, texts, and tweets
Are getting kind of old.

Image

#snowytrees #winter #snowmygod #stfu

And then that stupid Groundhog
Ran and hid and bid you, “Stay!”
I’ll kill that thing, I swear, by spring,
So you will go away.

Cause I just miss being outside
And walking where I please
Without the fear of freezing,
Slipping, falling to my knees…

Image

I’m running out of Netflix shows.
I’m running out of tea.
So if I may, on this cold day,
Speak on behalf of NYC.

In my open letter to winter weather
“PLEASE LEAVE US!” New York begs.
So I can wear my shorts and skirts
And finally shave my legs.

Love Fuck you very much,

Kristen

Advertisements

A Fantasy Love Life

Standard

It’s Week 11 of the Fantasy Football season and I’m in 4th place in my league, so you can say things are getting pretty serious. This is my first year participating in this phenomenon that all our brothers, friends, dads and boyfriends are all obsessed with for all of football season, and let me tell you – it’s quite fun. It gives being a football fan another reason to be competitive even when your team is sucking (thanks Jets). Also, boys think you’re a total catch when you tell them you play fantasy!!!!!!!

Image

I named my team Colin Kaeperlick-me for a reason, ladies.

While texting interchangeably about football and potential new boyfriends one night, Daniella and I came to the strange conclusion that operating within the love life of a twenty-something is essentially the same as managing your fantasy football team. How you ask? Lets go through the details of fantasy football and examine how each directly relates to how you, the owner of your team, can take control of your relationships.

The Draft

Like every football season, your fantasy season begins with a draft. Here is where you select your players (aka the boys you want to have on your radar). In girl world, this is known is “Calling Dibs.” That way you and your friends are not all trying to have the same player on your team. Clarify who-gets-who and you eliminate not only competition, but also, totally avoid friend fights! Woo!

Image

Hopefully there are enough good contenders out there for all of you.

Your Starters

Once you’ve got your team drafted, you have to decide who is going to be in your starting line-up, aka, the dudes you are going to primarily focus on. Let’s do a quick breakdown of a few of the positions so you can decide who you need to place in which slots to ensure a win for you each match-up.

  • Quarterback – Your QB is a crucial player, and you want someone who is going to perform well against most other teams’ defensive lines. Girl world: Here’s a dude that you want to make sure can withstand any crowd of girls that surrounds him. Probably a pretty boy, who doesn’t know how cute he is, and thinks you’re the prettiest and funniest girl in the bar and will always lob a drink right into your hand. He’ll toss you texts daily and throw you lots of attention. So as long as he’s not injured or on a bye-week (aka he stayed in to play video games instead of going to the bar), he should be someone who’s going to always give you points.
  • Wide Receiver – Placing a WR is tough because week in and week out; it’s very hard to project how many points they will get for you. Even some of the best WRs out there will have slow weeks here and there. So while they are great for a fun night out once and a while, sometimes they’re just going to suck. Reserve this spot for the super hot guy who invites you and all your friends out to get into a hot club for free on one weekend, but that you don’t necessarily want to deal with the following weekend. Probably not BF material, but in the dating world, good to have around.
  • Running Back – This, ladies, is the position that you need to fill with your leading men. They are able to win you points in a multitude of ways (passing, running, etc). These are your all around guys, and probably the ones you’re going to want to LOCK DOWN. They’re fun, they’re handsome, they can pay for your drinks but aren’t flashy with their money. They like playing beer pong AND dancing, and look good in button-downs or their favorite NFL jersey. Draft a great running back so you know that when the weather gets cold and you wanna settle down, you have someone to watch Love Actually and drink Pinot Noir with.
  • Kicker – While your kicker can randomly surprise you sometimes, from a fantasy standpoint, he’s usually nothing to write home about. Good to have around on like, a Monday night, when you just want to hang out, grab a beer at the local bar, and watch the game. Don’t drag them along and definitely give them a chance to shine, because there might be that one game where he saves you from what would’ve been a devastating loss or surprises you with flowers after a shitty day at work.
  • Defense/Special Teams – These are your guy friends. They get you some points, but not the way a QB, RB, or WR will. Once and while there will be an interception and one of your guy friends can magically turn into the perfect boyfriend, but for the most part, they just need to stand their ground. Block out the creepers. Help you with your fantasy team lineups to impress the other boys. (Realistically these are the bros we’ll probably all marry but we’re too young and crazy to realize it yet. Thanks for sticking by us, Defense. We’ll come around eventually.)
Yes, Yes, Yes &  Yes Please

Yes, Yes, Yes & Yes Please

Your Bench

Just like we all had safety schools when applying to college, and just like real/fantasy football teams have players who sit on the bench, we need our back up dudes. When things fall through, when the guy you’ve decided on gets hurt or added to IR or decides he’s not ready to commit to a team or something, you’ll have a few back-ups to pull up to your starting roster. Consider yourself unaffected when you have to replace a starter with someone from your bench.

Adding, Dropping, & Trading

Here is the beauty of fantasy football/the dating world. You can drop players whenever you feel like. Not giving you enough points week after week? Failing to return your texts often enough? Drop them. It’s as easy as the click of a few buttons. “Are you sure you want to drop this player?” Hit yes. Just do it.

Because then, take a glance at the free agent pool! See who’s available to pick up off the waiver wire. If they’re not yet owned by someone, pick them up! Sit them on the bench for a backup, or if you’re feeling confident, slide him right into your starting roster.

Trading….meh. I’m not a huge fan of trading anyone my starting lineup on my fantasy team or in real life. But if you and the members of the league can come to a mutual agreement…then trade away.

***

SO BASICALLY. What I’m trying to say is that managing a Fantasy Football team is 100 times easier than organizing the social calendar of a single girl. So ladies, if you can master yours, I give you permission to do a full on touchdown dance.

jimmy-graham-dunk-4

*Disclaimer: A quick reminder that this in regards to dating in New York City. As in letting boys take us out for dinners and drinks, and figuring out which lucky playa is gonna change his ways and settle down with us. Just in case anyone had the wrong idea.

Lata, bitches, good luck with the rest of your season!!!

Fashionably Late to NYFW

Standard

Sorry for the brief hiatus, I’ve been doing important things like having a job and moving into an apartment and texting a lot of people. But alas I have returned again, with a story of my most recent New York City adventure. Come sit and let me tell you a tale of a far-away land, where beautiful, mystical creatures walk gracefully through our midst, looking forever youthful and shimmering as the lights hit them. No, this isn’t Twilight – sorry vamp-lovers. This is New York Fashion Week. And I was lucky enough to be introduced to this new, beautiful, magical world, feeling as awkward and plain-looking as Bella Swan upon meeting the Cullens, and as hungry as the Cullens when they catch a whiff of human.

Image

You can’t sit with us!!

New York Fashion Week was something that, to be truly honest with you, I never thought I’d see the inside of. The entire fashion industry just always struck me as something foreign, something so specific that unless you considered yourself “into fashion,” which (Surprise!) I never did, it just wasn’t your scene. To me, the industry was reserved for the tall, the skinny, the poised, and the pretentious. It always seemed like too much arrogance, too much exclusivity, too much dark lipstick. Yet as much as I wanted to feel negatively about it, I was always a bit enraptured with the way New York Fashion Week would take over the city. My PR friends would post Facebook statuses like, “Time for NYFW, see you all in two weeks!” and share Instagram photos of runway models, trendy shoes, or flashy afterparties. It was an alluring scene, a glamourous scene – but it was never my scene.

And yet I found myself a part of it this year. And how did I land such an awesome opportunity? Thanks to blogging. I was perusing the Craigslist ‘writing gigs’ section during my lunch break at work a few weeks back (A common activity – you never know what’s going to pop up there!) and ended up submitting some material for a cool, multi-city lifestyle blog called The Urban Realist. A few days later I was speaking with the Editor in Chief, who is based out of Fort Lauderdale, and was asked if I’d like to attend an event or two for NYFW and write some brief coverage for the blog. An amazing opportunity that came essentially out of nowhere, thanks to a little bit of Craigslist trolling and a 15 minute phone call.

Image

I was thankful to have Jess with me to photograph so that we seemed a little more legit, but overall, the two of us had a blast and agreed that it was a new and amazing experience to be swimming in the fishtank surrounded by these beautiful creatures rather than watching them swim in circles and judging from outside the glass. While I could talk forever about how rewarding it was, I think it’s important to not diverge from my true, weird self and instead, have some fun with this post:

Kristen & Jess Present:

Realizing You Don’t Belong at Fashion Week

You have no idea how to dress. It’s like Harry Potter syndrome at Kings Cross station. Half the people there are running through solid walls in robes pushing carts topped with owls, and the other half are in muggle-wear just trying to make it to work on time, and everyone is looking at everyone else like, “Dafuq are they wearing?”

tumblr_m9qm95Z2LA1reol9zo1_500

You get excited about free food. The good news is there will be a ton of it since everyone else at these events weighs 74 pounds…combined. But the more you eat and the fuller you get, the fatter and worse about yourself you’ll probably feel. But hey, who can say no to 4 packages of free hummus??? NOT I!

YtQPTnw

You smile in pictures.  Don’t you know that everyone at fashion week pouts? Duh. Smiling can cause face wrinkles which will never be in style – unlike the pout which will never be ‘out.’ On the rare occasion you do see smiles, they will of course be closed-lip smiles. You can’t show your teeth because ‘No White After Labor Day’ is like the most important fashion rule of all time.

Anyone who smiles can Dere-lick my balls

Anyone who smiles can Dere-lick my balls

You’re wearing comfortable shoes. Dead giveaway. Comfortable = bad. Any shoe worth wearing to fashion week is at best, going to tear your feet to ribbons. If you look down and think to yourself, “These shoes are so comfortable,” you’re probably doing it wrong. Also – it doesn’t matter what the weather is. Weather durable footwear is probably a no-go unless you have designah rain boots.

Looks good.

Looks good.

You’re drunk. Apparently people don’t drink at these things?? I know, I was shocked too. If my friends and I were going to dress up in weird clothes, walk seductively down a long hallway, blow kisses at a camera, and then strut away, I’m 99% sure there would be (a lot of) alcohol involved. For the walker and the watcher. But I guess that’s why they have after parties.

Keep it real.

Keep it real.

So essentially, if you arrive at a Fashion Week show the way I’m used to arriving at events, that is, dressed strangely, looking for food, smiling, jumping around in my favorite comfy wedges, and drunk, it won’t matter what “list” you’re on – you know the truth. You don’t belong.

From a wannabe fashionista, hear me on this. Regardless of how short, heavy, under-dressed, and sober you may feel at a fashion week runway show, overall the experience is a positive one. There is so much to see and and learn about this industry. The vast majority of us will never really be a part of the fashion world, doomed to shop at Zara and Forever 21 long past being 21. So take what you can get.

And by that I mean snatch up all the free giveaways at the event. Goodies!

See my “real” fashion week coverage posts here:

http://theurbanrealist.com/nyfw-kristin-cavallari-show/

http://theurbanrealist.com/glitters-nyfw/

Until next time… Au Revior Fashion Week!!!

1236452_10200737265538356_650032335_n

Hunting in the Concrete Jungle

Standard

Like a lioness in the African pride lands, a post-grad girl spends so many of her days and nights hunting. Hunting for what, you may ask? And I reply, what are we not hunting for? Job opportunities, successful men to date, the perfect brunch spot, a nail salon with a cheap-but-still-clean atmosphere. Recently, the most important thing that I’ve been hunting for is an apartment. And let me tell you. It’s brutal.

ImageMe looking tired while apartment hunting after work last week.

While the hunt for an alpha male is pretty ferocious, I honestly think the hunt for a home in the vast and viciously overpopulated jungle that is New York City is ten times as cut-throat. Pairs of snarling twenty-somethings can be seen salivating over the same shoe-box sized Upper East Side apartment, staring each other down, ready to fight it out to win their territory. You have to be the quickest, the swiftest, ready to pounce at any moment on the prize – because before you know it, it’s gone. Brokers taunt you with listings promising “TRUE 2BR!” or “CLOSE TO SUBWAYS,” only to disappoint you day after day with crappy 5th floor walk-ups on 73rd and York, when all you really wanted was to be somewhere in the vicinity of the express train and a Dunkin’ Donuts. It’s a cruel life for the 23-year-old entry level lion cub trying to move on from her home and start a life all her own out in the wild.

mean girls

Actual footage.

All metaphors aside, the process truly is really tough. There are serious trade-offs when you’re moving out for the first time, and I’m smack in the middle of understanding all of that myself right now. Moving out of the basement of my childhood home in Queens has been all I’ve wanted for about 6 months, but it’s not easy. It means meeting with broker after broker, all of whom seem to be halfway reliable at best, and making the uptown-trek a few times a week only to be disappointed at numerous apartments. It means trolling Craigslist and all of the other apartment listing sites every day on your lunch break to stay ahead of the game. “Bidding wars” and “guarantors” become part of your every day vocabulary. It means understanding that the first few months following your eventual move, you’re probably going to live a little less glamorously than you want to – Ramen noodle dinners, cheap wine, and Netflix-filled Fridays on the week that rent is due.

But the upside of the trade-off is that you become this free, independent version of yourself, bounding through the savanna (aka the island of Manhattan) with the rest of your pride (aka your roommate and other broke NYC-residing friends), making frequent stops at local watering holes and pouncing and nuzzling with handsome males…too far?

I’m not there yet, but I’m on my way. And so I know that the process is hard. My advice to fellow post-grads in the same predicament is as follows:

  • Be flexible. Part of this is understanding that your first apartment is probably not going to be your dream apartment. You may have to compromise some of your plans. Not all of them – don’t do that to yourself or you’ll be miserable, but be prepared to give up some things. It might mean walking up two extra flights of stairs to get to the door of your apartment but if it’s a block away from the subway, you’ll thank yourself come wintertime.
  • Be decisive. Know what you want, know what you can and can’t settle for, and act quickly when you find something that fits within your range. If you don’t pounce quickly, someone else will.
  • Be smart. Realize early that rent is only part of the equation. You also need to factor in utilities, transportation, groceries, toiletries, and most importantly, wine. Budget everything out before you decide what you can afford.
  • Be patient. This is the most important of all, and the part I’m struggling the most with. Eventually, you’ll find something. So keeping a good head on your shoulders and not rushing into something rash is crucial. Take it one day at a time, and keep on hunting. Before you know it, you’ll be all settled in, turning your apartment into your home.

Hakuna Matata.

Sorry, I’m Not Sorry – The Non-Apology

Standard

We’ve all heard this phrase before. We’re probably all annoyed by it already. The “Sorry-I’m-Not-Sorry” phenomenon has taken over the internet, serving as one of high-school girls’ favorite #hashtags and Instagram photo captions. Another shameless selfie? Go ahead, post it on Facebook. Got drunk last night and now you’re hungover at work? Bet you don’t even feel bad about it. Talking crap about someone and you just DON’T CARE if they know? Must be because…

ImageAs long as you’re sorry that you’re not sorry, we’re okay with it.

While the “Sorry-Not-Sorry” grows to be more widely accepted than actual apologies themselves, we as young adults may find ourselves facing the very real version of this seemingly minor issue. The non-apology.

What is a non-apology, you may be wondering? Chances are you’ve encountered it sometime recently. Or maybe you’re one of the douchebags who is a non-apologizer. But regardless of which part you play, it seems to me to be an unavoidable phenomenon that we as maturing individuals will have to acknowledge, accept, and overcome. The non-apology occurs when rather than apologizing for doing something hurtful or sketchy, there is a successful dodge, excuse, or blatant disregard of the issue at hand. Essentially, this is them saying to you:

mileyBitchy.

There are a few types of non-apologies. The following three are the most-common, in order of how crazy they’ll drive you.

3. The Bait-and-Switch

Like the retail strategy, the bait-and-switch begins with a conversation where you believe you are going to get an apology, but at the last minute, the blame suddenly switches to you. You’ve gotten into a rough situation with a friend and you’ve finally decided to have a conversation in hopes of attaining the prize – an apology. And so it begins, “You’re right, maybe I shouldn’t have said that….BUT -” And that’s where it all changes. With the introduction of the word “but,” the entire game has changed. Your conversation now will end with either two apologies, zero apologies, or one apology – yours. This technique is typically executed by people who are good with persuasion, debating and/or brainwashing. You won’t even realize it’s happened until the conversation is over and you’ll stand there, wishing for the words that just slipped through your fingers. A simple sorry.

Image

2. The Teeth-Grinder

This non-apology may or may not actually include the words “I’m Sorry.” Usually said through gritted teeth, this apology is more of an excuse than heartfelt remorse. The Teeth-Grinder is so clearly not an apology that anyone in the vicinity will probably feel the tension. The non-apologizer will be all, “I guess I get where you’re coming from. But, whatever, right? We’re good?” And you’ll nod, but inside, you’ll be thinking:

Image

1. The Shrug-It-Off

The worst of the three most common non-apologies, the Shrug-It-Off is so shrug-tastic that the issue is usually never even discussed. In fact, it’s usually straight avoided. These are the moments you’ll thank God that the weird, scientific phenomena of spontaneous combustion is real (is it real?) and wish it upon those around you. Maybe the other individual doesn’t understand that you’re mad. Or maybe they do, and they just don’t care. Maybe they’re just… sorry-they’re-not-sorry. And they’ll sit across the table from you, as you wallow in anger and apprehension until…

 flip

When it comes down to it, there will always be times in your life that you feel you deserve an apology and you never get one. The important lesson to take away is that you will be a happier person if you learn to accept the apologies you never receive. Don’t dwell on them. Because keep in mind, perhaps there was a time when you should’ve said something and neglected to.

When in doubt, forgive.

When you can, forget.

And when you just can’t bring yourself to do either, flip tables.

The Return

Standard

Ladies and Gentlemen, friends and neighbors, family, co-workers, enemies, stalkers, sisters, lovers, haters, readers – I have three words for you.

I have returned.

Like Michael Jordan to the NBA, like Simba to Pride Rock, like Britney to the music world, and like most birthday presents that aren’t checks or gift cards, I am back where I started from.

ImageRemember who you are.

I have returned to where I belong – the blogosphere – to bring to you more of my advice and commentary on the world, New York City, relationships, food, naps, not going to the gym and other things that are important to me. I hope I’ve been missed as much as I’ve missed posting, and I’m so happy to hopping back on the blog-o-train. That, and because I’ve been bothering so many people to listen to my senseless rantings that I think I just need a new outlet. I’ve been cooped up in my own mind for too long and I need to be set free into the world to learn and share and fly!!!! That being said, I’m going to start going in a new direction with this. Keeping in mind what I’ve written about over the past year and some of the feedback I’ve gotten, I’m ready to open your eyes to more of the weirdness that I happen to set mine on.

Some tune-age to set the mood:

I’ll keep this short and sweet – just as a quick note letting you all know that your favorite weekly read is BACK. Keep posted for some fun new stuff coming up really soon.

Kristen’s Blog – Making your morning train rides a little more entertaining since May 2012.

See you soon.

Day 336 – So You’re About To Graduate College…

Standard

Yesterday afternoon, I spent some time browsing my Facebook and Twitter feeds and was overwhelmed by the amount of “Last undergrad class…EVER!” posts and tweets I saw. And I had a few reactions:

1) Congrats on making it to your last class! I slept through mine.

2) I’m not old enough to NOT be the youngest person in the workforce.

3) Where the hell did this year go?

I started this blog almost a full year ago to track my journey through my first post-graduate year and I’m in disbelief that I’m almost at Day 365. (*Note – I clearly did some math wrong along the way because on May 12th, the day after graduation, it will not be day 365. But don’t worry. Those of us in PR don’t really need to know numbers. Or counting.) But I guess I better start believing it, because I’m going to have to stop telling people I “just graduated college” and switched to “I graduated last year” when they ask what I’ve been doing with my life.

Anyways, now that I’m an expert in city life post-college (LOL), I’m gonna share with you youngin’s some fun facts and can’t-miss tips on how to get through year one of post-grad life. This is a compilation of my best advice in one list, SO LISTEN UP!!

10. Never underestimate the importance of Happy Hour.

Because it’s amazing. It’s cheap drinks, it’s handsome business-boys in shirts and ties, it’s like day-drinking sort of cause the sun is sometimes still out – essentially it’s everything I want in one place. Happy Hour becomes the go-to for dates, mini-reunions and hang outs. Because what you’ll come to realize is the “Come over and pregame before we go out on Thursday!” just won’t really excite people anymore, but “Wanna grab a few drinks after work on Thursday?” rolls off the tongue much more nicely.

9. Realize that you’re probably going to gain weight. Get a gym membership.

It starts slow. You start meeting up with friends for “a few drinks after work” a few times a week. You browse Yelp and find some cute new dinner spots. The weather gets cold, and Seamless comes into your life. You start ordering your lunch to the office – delivery. You sit at a desk from 9-5. Since it’s cold, you’re wearing layers. So no one’s noticing those extra pounds. All of a sudden, spring hits and your shorts are quiteeeee a bit tighter than they were last year. Yeah, it happens. Counteract it best you can by joining a gym or at the very least, going for a run once and a while. No matter how much it hurts.

Image

8. Learn how to budget your money.

Seriously. While my waistline was getting wider because of the above reasons, my wallet was getting thinner. If I had $5 for every time I wished I had taught myself the importance of saving money I wouldn’t have to worry about saving money. Maybe people are just generally better at this than me, but I would’ve loved to, before graduation, have taken like two seconds to remember that a penny earned doesn’t have to immediately become a penny spent.

Image

7. Visit your Alma Mater at least once (and try not to die while you’re there).

Homecoming. Go to it. Or any other random weekend. Visiting your college in the year following your graduation is like Christmas but better because it’s not cold and everyone actually really excited to see each other! It’s a mini-vacation, the closest thing you’ll get to Spring Break in your post-college career. The sub-point of advice within this point of advice – when drinking, don’t try to keep up with the college kids. Why? See my next point…

6. Drinking is harder. Learn how to adapt.

You’ll need to come to the conclusion on your own that you can’t drink nearly as much as you could in college after a few months at home. Between waking up early to get to work and just getting generally out of drinking shape, your 4-nights-a-week college rage-fests just don’t fit into a post-grads schedule. Instead, embrace new drinking activities, like Brunch, to fill the void left from giving up Tuesday night ladies nights or Thursday night binges. Believe me, being hungover at work is not a condition you want to be in often.

Image

5. Know that G-Chat is the new Facebook chat.

Yes, being in almost-constant communication with your besties remains important following college. So where group-texts fail (who can deal with their iPhone vibrating on their desk all day long?) and where Facebook reads ‘unprofessional,’ G-Chat becomes convenient and perfectly work-place acceptable. It was the most valuable secret of post-grad life. Inconspicuous chat windows can be disguised as e-mail drafts, all those super-important messages you’re about to send out to clients and colleagues. No one needs to know that it’s really links to your favorite BuzzFeed articles and other NSFW things. It’s a gem. A diamond in the rough. So necessary.

4. Enjoy being single.

Because as much as we all just wanted to settle down with a boyfriend after graduation and through most of the winter months (Oh, that was just me? Okay..), people still generally suck at being in relationships. And that’s okay. There are so many YoPros to meet, so many dates to be gone on, and so many fun things like Grouper to experiment with. It’s the most fun time in our lives to be on our own, going out with our friends, having cocktails with bankers and playing beer pong with fratty guys in “Murray Chill.”

3. Invest in a good set of wine glasses. 

You’re going to need them. “Wine nights” become your Sunday-Wednesday nights after college. You don’t need to schedule them like you used to with the roomies. Instead of, “Hey, anyone want to stay in and just have a few glasses of wine tonight?” the question is, “WHERE IS MY WINE OPENER?!” Wine. Always. Wine.

Image

2a. Go out a lot.

Explore the city, meet new people, try new drinks. There is more to see…than can ever be seen…more to do…than can ever be done…

2b. Stay in a lot.

It’s okay to stay in more, too. And it’s definitely okay to enjoy staying in. Because after a long day of work, sometimes all you want is to cuddle on the couch with your pup and a glass of wine and watch Game of Thrones reruns on Netflix. Which sounds like an ideal Friday night to me.

Image

1. Enjoy every minute.

While this year was a change, it was truly a great year. The first year out of college is a journey. You meet a ton of new people, have some incredible experiences, some ups, more downs. You’ll gain weight, you’ll lose weight. You’ll get screwed over by some douche you swore you’d never fall for again and refuse to date a nice guy who’d probably be nothing but amazing to you. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll be late to work a few times. But overall, you’ll have a blast. Yes, college was the time of my life, and probably the time of yours too, but the fun doesn’t stop once you move the tassel, I promise. So take advantage of these last few weeks in school, and then feel free to take FULL advantage of the year that lies ahead of you.

Oh, and by the way, CONGRATULATIONS!

Image

Can’t believe this was a year ago. I miss and love you guys to pieces.

So where does that leave me? A blogger dedicated to exploring one year in post-grad life. I’ve got some ideas….Stay with me and you’ll see how I continue my journey through the blogosphere. 😉 I’m not going anywhere.

A Quick Diversion

Standard

I set out to write a post this afternoon about what it’s like to celebrate a post-grad birthday, but with the events of this past week still fresh in everyones minds, I just feel it isn’t yet appropriate.

Two days ago, as all of us are fully aware, Boston was struck by acts of terror, injuring and killing bystanders at the Boston Marathon’s finish line. These actions were completely unjustified. In my father’s own words, “utter bullshit.” Not only were they directed at innocents, but because there seems to be simply no reason behind it. At a time when each of the affected persons and families, all of America at that, is waiting for answers, there are none. We are all asking questions, and each is met with a resounding silence.

This is the latest in a series of events in our country that has caused me to doubt over and over whether or not we as humans are inherently good. It’s the question that was asked through the majority of my Sociology classes during my years at the University of Miami. “Are we, as people, inherently good, and do some diverge and become bad?” or “Are we inherently bad, and do the many who are able to overcome that, show us the good in the world?” Through all of these tragedies we’ve witnessed, from the Sandy Hook shootings to the Aurora Colorado massacre all the way back to 9/11, there is evidence abound for the latter assumption. And yet, I still have to stand behind the first.

As horrifying as each of these events is, and other smaller scale tragedies that don’t even make the headlines, what is even more breathtaking is the way we see people reach out to one another. If you’re following the news, you’re hearing these stories. Marathon runners who passed the finish line only to continue running towards the hospital to donate blood; Boston residents opening their homes to marathon runners; former NFL players carrying injured bystanders to safety. And cities across our nation uniting, and standing with each other.

Image

Like this widely circulated photo preaches, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that,” and as Dr. King’s quote continued, “Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.”

We see this, time and time again. When a state, or a city, or simply another American is affected by an act of terror or pain or anger, we stand together as a whole against that darkness. People reaching out to strangers, lending help and support to those in need. Whether it be in the form of monetary donations, blood drives, candlelight vigils, or simple social media updates. It’s our way of letting others know, “We’re here for you. Don’t give up. You’re not alone.”

And it is for this reason I know that we as a people must be inherently good. Because while some take the darker path and for reasons unbeknownst to the rest of us, hurt those around them, the rest of society joins hands against violence, against hate. And we fight, like so many around us, to stop these terrorizing acts that happen so close to home. And we don’t let these events stop us. New Yorkers went back to work in their office buildings. Students in Newtown, Connecticut went back to school. Colorado residents still go to movie theaters, and people across the nation will continue to run marathons. In fact, we may see people running marathons in honor of those victimized by these acts. Like George W. Bush declared in his address after the September 11th attacks, even acts that “shatter steel cannot dent the steel of American resolve.”

We’re asking lots of questions, about who stands behind this and why. But maybe the best answer, for once, can just be, “You’re safe. This person won’t hurt you again. There will be justice.” Imagine his or her name is not published. And he or she does not get the fame they probably wished to achieve through this. Well, good. To me, that’s justice. For them to be punished – and worse, to have no one even know their name.

My heart goes out to all who were affected, not only by the bombings at the Boston marathon, but to anyone who’s lives or families have felt the pain of tragedies big and small across America and across the world. And I hope that the light of the goodness of others can dispel the darkness.

Day 328 – “NSFW”

Standard

I have never hated the sound of a camera shutter as much as I did this morning when I was SnapChatting a friend a silly selfie and left the sound on my iPhone on.

I froze, duck lips in full force, praying no one heard the loud Chhhhhh that ran across the office. Out of the corner of my eye, I watched the guy across the room peek out from behind his computer screen as I tried to make it look like I was screen-shotting something. Narrowly avoiding what would’ve been a seriously humiliating moment in the office, I turned my sound off as quickly as I could.

There are a few things that are NSFW – Not Safe For Work, that is, and apparently, SnapChat is one of them. It very much depends on your workplace, however, as some of my friends are able to watch full TV episodes on Hulu Plus during their work day. Don’t worry Jess, I’m not gonna say any names. But you’ll learn as year one of PostGrad Life progresses just what is and isn’t safe for work.

1. SnapChat

Like I just mentioned, often SnapChat is NSFW. Unless you are actually smart and remember to turn the sound off when you get to your desk. But seriously, unless you’re sneakily snapping selfies, be careful, because it’s going to be hard to explain this face if you’re caught doing it at your desk:

Image

2. Hilarious BuzzFeed Articles

It is a scientifically proven fact that the only time it is impossible to hold in laughter is when it is absolutely necessary to hold in laughter. The workplace is one of those places you should try to contain the giggles as best you can due to an undeniable law. It’s called the Law of KYMS – Keeping Your Mouth Shut. I have a hard time following the Law of KYMS every time I open up a link to a Buzzfeed article from an e-mail or a g-chat someone has sent to me. I very often have to physically cup my hands over my mouth to stifle an embarrassing display of hysterical laughter that would be NSFW.

Wanna see if you can follow the Law of KYMS? Check out the 25 Funniest Autocorrects Buzzfeed article, one of my all time favorites. If you can hold in laughter through all twenty five, I’ll buy you a beer. But then also probably stop being your friend because they’re hilarious and if you don’t agree we shouldn’t hang out because I only like funny people.

3. Catching Up on Game of Thrones

The sex. The violence. The incest. The revenge. The totally-out-of-nowhere plot twists. If unlike me, you’re able to watch TV at work somehow, know that Game of Thrones is definitely NSFW. Imagine the setting. You have HBO Go open in one window, an Excel spreadsheet in another for easy clicking back and forth. But you become entranced with the show. Battles of good and evil are unfolding in front of your eyes as your heart races in anticipation. Then suddenly, the LAST POSSIBLE THING you ever thought would happen on the show happens. And you try to react like this:

poppins

But you WANT to react like this:

shocked

And I’m not sure what kind of job you have but the latter reaction would be met with some confusion in my office.

4. Stinky Food

Not only should certain activities be discouraged in the office, but often your choice of lunch can be a not-safe-for-work factor. The Lunch Hour is a sacred hour in the workplace. Where you can finally peel your eyes from your computer screen, give your ever-typing fingers a break, and rejuvenate – boost up your energy to get you through the rest of the day. For those of us trying to save some cash, bringing your lunch and eating it at your desk is a common occurrence  And nothing ruins the sanctity of lunchtime than having to smell your coworkers stinky egg salad as you try to enjoy your midday meal.

Some NSFW Foods you should Avoid:

  • Anything with curry
  • Egg salad
  • Fish, specifically tuna fish
  • Asparagus and Broccoli
  • Microwave popcorn
  • Burritos

lunch

5. Looking at Pictures of Ryan Gosling

Because:

ryan gosling

rainbow

So stay focused at work, post-grads, or if you must distract yourself, stick to Pinterest.

Best of luck!

Day 309 – F.O.M.O.

Standard

I apologize for my brief hiatus from the blogosphere, but fear not – I have returned. I know you probably are all wondering just what I was doing for the past sixteen days; perhaps you had a bit of F.O.M.O…a Fear Of Missing Out? Well, whether you did or not, developing F.O.M.O. is exactly what I’m going to be blogging about today.

doc

F.O.M.O. [ F(ear) O(f) M(issing) O(ut)] (Foh-mo) noun 

The condition in which one who is separated from a group of people or a large scale event experiences fear, discomfort, and utter depression due to the misfortune of being unable to partake in events and activities with said group or at said event and understanding this means you will be missing something amazing. May lead to irrational and rash decisions such as last-minute flight bookings, over-drinking, or spontaneous outbursts of hysterical tears at your desk.

I have experienced, and believe I will continue to experience, the worst post-graduate F.O.M.O. symptoms thus far this month. Why? Simply because the month of March for the past few years of my life was always unreal. The bomb diggity. March was…well, Madness, if I may. There was always so much going on, the weather was getting nicer, people would visit and it was essentially a 31-day-long party in my house at school.

First and foremost, as you know from my last post, March to me means Spring Break. It means Las Vegas. It means the Bahamas. It means getting tan and drinking on the beach and dancing all night long and laughing and meeting new people and making questionable decisions that I never really needed to answer for. I just feel like I became the best version of myself on Spring Break. And by the best I mean worst…but it certainly felt like the best. The words “Spring Break” evoke feelings of freedom and excitement and spontaneity… and I’m watching undergrads experience all of it through this cursed channel we call Facebook. I see them prancing around in heels, all sunkissed and smiling, margaritas in hand. And I fear, I do, that I am…missing out. Which I am. Because I’m sitting at a desk doing much less prancing than I was last year down Las Vegas Boulevard, and I’m NOT happy about it!!!!

spring-beautiful-time-fluorescent-lighting-seasonal-ecards-someecards

This post falls at a very significant time, between two specific weekends which have made my F.O.M.O. much harder for me to deal with – smack dab in the middle of the two weekends of Ultra Music Festival. And goddammit, do people post a lot of pictures/videos of Ultra! (Did I post that many? If so, I’m sorry.) I even get video Snapchats from friends featuring 10-second teasers of the awesome sets I know they’re watching. And I’ll be honest…that’s just evil. And before I go to sleep each night, I whisper all their names to myself in a sort of corrupt prayer like Arya from Game of Thrones hoping all the power in Miami goes out or someone gets a bad case of Scarlet Fever and can’t get to UMF next weekend. It’s not my fault. It’s a side effect of F.O.M.O.

Plus, on top of it all, the changing of the seasons makes me miss last year. Today is officially the first day of Spring (although in NYC it doesn’t really feel like it), and with the Spring comes so many things I want to be doing. I want to be going to baseball games or going to the park or going on boats and outdoor bars or at least wearing flip flops and the worst part of all of it is that other people are. People live in warmer places or are successfully “funemployed” or are still lucky enough to be in school and they are doing all these things…and I am missing out on them.

As post-grads and entry-level employees, this feeling was bound to hit us eventually. It’s a trapping feeling, a sadness; it’s like all you want is for your best friend to drive up to your bedroom window in a flying car and rescue you during the lowest point of your F.O.M.O. and whisk you away.

harry rescue pt 2

But that kind of magic doesn’t apply to most of us, unfortunately. And so we need to find other ways to deal with F.O.M.O. And here is my best advice as to how to get throw these months that we spend playing in traffic while others are playing…everywhere else.

1. Make yourself a short-term bucket list.

Whether it’s a “Spring Bucket List” or “Things To Do In March” document, compile some kind of list of fun things you can do to keep busy. My friends and I have a Google Doc that we’re constantly adding things to so we can try new and exciting places and activities all the time. Definitely helps prevent F.O.M.O. as you’ll be too busy having fun to think about all the better things other people are doing.

2. Stay off social media.

Easier said than done, I know, especially when many of our jobs allow us some prime Facebooking after lunch or ample time to browse our Twitter feeds during the morning commutes. But try to not go through every “SPRiNG BR3AK 20!3” album that gets posted. It’ll only make you feel sad. And fat. And pale. Also, don’t backstalk yourself and remind yourself of all the fun you were having when you were still in college. That’s even worse, because hating past-you is always harder than hating present-anyone-else.

3. Make one really stupid college-kid decision.

Simply so that when you hear some kids telling a story about all the wild and crazy stuff they did over break, you can have one reference you can drop. “Well, don’t worry, we still rage too. Like, you’ll never believe what I did last weekend….” (Insert my behavior over St. Patrick’s Day weekend. Yep.)

4. Then counteract it and do something post-grad-esque and mature.

You’ll feel pretty dumb after your #3 stupid decision, so then do something very post-grad of you. Like trying out this new fancy wine bar or buying yourself a nice new blazer. Remind yourself that being a post-grad is fun, too! You’re not funneling beers on a beach, this is true. But the YoPros go cray for a sexy young thang hitting up Happy Hour in a sleek black blazer…who could pay for her her own drinks, but he’s gonna buy yours anyway. And it’s not gonna be a Natty Light, either. It’ll be a Blue Moon. Classssssssssy.

5. Last but not least, remember that F.O.M.O. is a temporary condition.

And that if you actually went to every party, every concert, every bar, and on every trip that you thought you would “miss out on” by not attending, you would be broke, exhausted, and probably have a horrible immune system. Breathe and relax and take comfort in knowing that you will 100% have a chance to go to some event or take some trip or see some show sometime soon that other people are totally going to miss out on. And you can brag about it all you want.

Keep your head up during these undergrad F.O.M.O. moments, post-grads. While it may be hard, there are bright, shining, wonderful future experiences for those 23 and older somewhere out there waiting for us.